TG and JJA,
I hear what you are saying but I still think you are overstating this. Yes, a guy who runs a 6.6 will have an excellent chance to make it as a walk on. They pick guys as walk ons who have promise. Just like with the pros, some will pan out but no real loss if they don't. What you all are saying might be true with some elite schools but by and large if you can play, really play then you are still the one who will be the college starter, the college producer. Skills are still important. Evaluation is still difficult. Looking good in your uniform and running a 6.6 will get you the looks but you still need that eye-hand. You still have to put the bat on the ball, the ball still needs to jump off the bat, and, oh, yeh, gotta be able to hit the breaking stuff. In college, you still need to be pretty good, pretty quick or you will get cut.
There aren't that many 6.6 guys around anyways, not who can play. If they could, they'd be in the pros. Now you can say this guy got drafted or that guy got drafted but, really, getting drafted doesn't mean you'll be a good college player. Far from it. I've seen a boatload of high draft picks either get cut in college or have miserable careers.
He was going to delay entering college for a semester to showcase in the fall. He played the spring high school season three weeks after tossing away his sling. By August his hitting instructor told him he was ready. As a backup he had applied in been accepted to several colleges interested before his injuries. A pro scout contacted the coaches on his behalf where he had been accepted looking for a roster spot. When he ran his sixty and threw it was verification he was healthy, not that he was a track star who might hit.
We're going to have to disagree on the 6.6 college players. Outfields at the major conference level are full of them. It doesn't mean they will be drafted or play MLB ball. What you will see is a 6.6 or better college player get the benefit of the doubt and get drafted in the late rounds. Given 94% of MLBers come from the first 20 rounds of the draft it's a good risk to draft athletes late. It's mostly a nothing to lose proposition for the MLB franchise. They also draft big arms that haven't delivered in college after the 20th round.
The reason I reminded my son he can't steal first is so he doesn't lose sight the most important thing is still hitting the ball. Also, in the back of my mind I question his bat speed for major conference competition. But it's a college he would have attended even if he wasn't an athlete. If baseball doesn't work out he's not transferring. This past summer he succeeded in a summer league that was mostly mid major players with some major conference and stud D2 and D3 players. It was the best placement his coach could get given he was a red shirt last year.
there is an arguement for both. first of all Baseball is still a game of skill and you can either hit or not. there have been tons of super athletic Kids drafted to the MLB who later proved to not be able to hit anything. and on the other hand there are slow and unathletic guys who just can hit and are in the HOF now. the book moneyball (yeah I know...) pointed out that teaching toolsy players at adult Age to Play usually don't work (a free swinger almost never becomes Patient and most wild 99 mph relievers stay wild for the rest of their career-although there are a few notable exeptions.
Baseball wisdom is that you cannot teach Tools but you can teach skills which is only partially true since Motor learning as well as other Habits are best done at early age. I have seen an interview with a figure Skating Coach who was asked about a talented skater (like 17yo or so) had some technical flaws if he could correct him and he said "Forget about it if he hasn't learned that by age 13 he is never going to learn it". so there are serious limits to the tool based (arm, power, speed) recruiting approach.
but on the other hand we have the problem that HS (and even college) stats are hardly comparable because the Levels of Play are so diverse. so instead of having nothing objective the recruiters might use the only objective data they have- if anything just to protect their Job as JJA said because if they recruit a slow kid just because he hit .500 in HS they will receive a lot of flag.
on the other hand nobody is going to criticize a Scout who signs a 99 mph thrower or 6.5 runner who doesn't make it because he is mentally weak.
I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.
1) Coaching staff overesatimated the potential of the prospect when he saw him play (they have limited exposure)
2) While the school was interested the player overestimated his ability to compete for a position
3) Player had the ability but is the odd man out in the numbers game
Of the sixteen players from my son's travel class seven transferred after the first year. It was because they failed, they were the odd man out or didn't like the culture of the region since they went far from home. Unless a player can see a future on the field with his team at the end of freshman year it's get out of town time. There's going to be another ten recruits coming in behind him next year. Waiting until after soph season means sitting out the first draft year due to NCAA transfer rules or playing down to D2. Waiting until after soph year removes the playing at a D1 JuCo option. Also, the coach may approach the player and tell him he's not in next years plans and won't have a scholarship. This player has to sit out a year due to transfer rules, play JuCo or move down to D2 which is a screwing by the NCAA.
I know two kids who were recruited by a ranked program after being Gatorage Player of the Year in their respective states. It was also a school anyone would want their kid at academically. They both washed out of the baseball program freshman year. They transferred and are still considered pro prospects. One transferred to a D1/ ACC school and sat out soph year. The other went JuCo and is now playing in the Sun Belt Conference.
Here's an ugly recruiting story. One of my son's travel teammates was being recruited by the head coach at college A. The head coach leaves to become an assistant at college B, a more prestigious baseball program. Rumor is he will take over the head job in two or three years. The coach recruits the player to college B. The player gets there and the head coach doesn't like his game. He tries to change everything. The kid fails. The head coach stops talking to him. He never travels (only 25 of 35 travel). Finally after two twenty run blowouts where the kid didn't get in the game he approaches the head coach. The head coach tells him he's not in his plans and to transfer. The head coach was going to wait until after the season to tell the kid while he was busting his chops trying to please him. So you want to play major college baseball?
if they recruit a slow kid just because he hit .500 in HS they will receive a lot of flag.
Kids don't get recruited on high school stats. The stats are only a resume bullet that may warrant a look. The difference between D1 recruiting for college and MLB drafting is the college coach has a two year window of expectations. The college coach is looking at tools that are mostly ready to go. He expects the player to have impact by soph season. He can take a chance on a longshot because he has a 35 man roster where only 20-22 get any playing time. But each year the coach has to make room for 10 more prospects even if it means taking away the roster spot of a current player. Players 28-35 don't get athletic scholarship money. These are usually the projects. If they aren't productive they didn't harm the team over the season. But next year they may be taking up valuable roster space. A player drafted by an MLB franchise has 4-7 years to develop and make it depending on if he signed out of high school or college. The rule of thumb is if you're in AA ball during spring training when you're 26 expect to hear "coach wants to talk to you in his office."
My son's team had two top shelf studs. They both signed for about 1.5M out of high school rather than head for a ranked program. I didn't count them in the sixteen since they passed on college. It was only five who failed. Two were playing but didn't like the local culture and transferred. I thought some of the kids overreached with their choices. They should have chosen Big East or Big Ten programs over SEC and ACC programs. My son had an ACC option. I advised him it probably wouldn't be a good choice.
I believe one kid who is still at his original choice should have signed out of high school rather than risk exposing he's more of a physical specimen than a stud. I believe PG, colleges and scouts had him grossly overrated as a top fifty prospect. Now he's in a make or break soph year behind an all-conference junior. The current starter took the starting position from him. The kid was projected to start as a freshman and bat in the middle of the order. It turned out he lacked defensive proficiency at his position for that level of ball. He started the season as a DH. By the middle of the season he was only playing mid week non conference games against mid majors. As much as my son likes the kid he called him Mr LOB to me. My son said no one ever left him on base as much as this kid in summer ball.
Keep in mind when I talk about failure all these kids were high school studs. They will all land successfully somewhere. It's not like they stink.
Last edited by tg643; 12-24-2012 at 06:56 PM.
do recruiters also measure batspeed or ball Exit Speed?
with all the Tools available now measuring ball Exit Speed would be a very objective measurement for power. you could even standardize it by letting everyone bat against an 80 mph machine and then gun the ball batted Speed.
I now have my own non commercial blog about training for batspeed and power using my training experience in baseball and track and field.
Last edited by tg643; 12-25-2012 at 06:17 AM.
I always enjoy your posts on the college recruitment process.
I've learned much that can help the HS players that look to me for guidance.
I'd much appreciate, however, any links you can provide to document the following statements:
Most of the center and right fielders in major conference D1 run 6.6' or better
50% of D1 players transfer
Last edited by skipper5; 12-26-2012 at 11:04 AM.
When my son was in high school I attended a lot of college games. I asked a lot of questions. In our region there was easy access to Big East and ACC games. I seeked out parents of outfielders and asked. I had friends with sons in the SEC and Big Ten. I asked them. They all gave the same feedback about 6.6.
When my son was going through the process I saw an article about the transfer rate in some baseball magazine. It may have been Baseball America or Collegiate Baseball. It had a link to an official NCAA site relating to APR. I randomly selected some schools and found the statement to be true. I've followed Vanderbilt for about seven years since two of my friends/former teammates sons played there. Since then there has been a kid on the team I know. I've watched a lot of turnover on the roster. It's not the starters you have to watch. It's everyone else. Only about twenty players have any impact on the team. The other fifteen are looking to get out. Of the first twenty some of those aren't happy with their role. Don't forget, if a kid goes major D1 he's considering himself a pro prospect. He can't be discovered on the bench.
When a high school player is looking at a program he has to ask himself if he sees himself being one of the top twenty players by his soph year. Even then one of the ten incoming recruits will be trying to shove him aside. He has to make that assessment knowing he's good enough to play there but not knowing much, if anything at all about the other ten recruits. A friend's son headed for Vanderbilt with three Gold Catchers Mitts (a regional award) under his arm and a PG Top 100 ranking. That's great for high school. He was red shirted his first year to work in his defense.
Also, coaching changes create turnover. There was one program the coach discontinued the scholarship of every player except four. Discontinuing the baseball program creates turnover. Unless a player is a senior he's going to move on. A senior in a program not good enough to be saved knows he's not a pro prospect.
Our local high school places a lot of kids in college sports. A couple of the guidance counselors specialize in helping these kids. My daughter brought home a pamphlet created by one of the counselors comparing D1 to D3. It said in D1 unless you are a stud the coach is looking for someone to replace you every recruiting year. While it's true at all levels if you can be recruited by a D1 chances are you will be a stud at a D3. Unless your sport involves a professional potential pick the level you most believe will provide a four year positive playing experience.
Both my kids chose D1. But schools they chose were for the academics. My daughter's college was one of the tops in the country for her major. My son's college is a top twenty in his major. My daughter was never a full time player. But as the fourth outfielder she played enough to enjoy the experience. My son said if it doesn't work out he'll stay and play club ball. But heading into his red shirt freshman year he was told he'll play more than he'll sit. He doesn't have any professional delusions. He knows 94% of MLBers come from the first twenty rounds. He's not one of these kids saying. "I don't care what round. All I want is a chance."
The draft was recently cut from sixty, to fifty to forty rounds. It tells you how relevant late round picks are. Yet kids say all they want is a chance. I guess it depends on circumstances. A less than bright kid probably sees any chance at pro ball a good deal. In Mike Piazza's situation (60th round), his father owns several car dealerships. Piazza had a job waiting for him the moment he washed out, had it occurred. He knew someday he would be promoted to owner.
Last edited by tg643; 12-26-2012 at 03:36 PM.